Discussions for the EU to develop a Magnitsky-style legislation has been in talks since mid 2018 and is now underway.
The Magnitsky Act was enacted by the Obama Administration, authorizing the U.S. Government to sanction human rights offenders. It is named after Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian tax lawyer. Magnitsky uncovered tax fraud on a vast-scale implicating Russian officials. In 2008 he was imprisoned in Russia and later died in jail as a result of the mistreatment suffered there.
In response to the events that led to Sergei Magnitsky’s death, U.S. financier, Bill Browder, launched a campaign to ensure that the Russian officials involved would face consequences in the form of sanctions. It resulted in U.S. Congress passing the Magnitsky Act in 2012.
This week, the EU have agreed to started paving the way to launch a similar legislation. The new High Representative of the EU Josep Borrell announced “The Council of the European Union has agreed to launch the preparatory work for a global sanctions regime to address serious human rights violations, which will be the EU equivalent of the so-called Magnitsky Act of the United States.”
“A new Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy that will be prepared by my services for the next five years. This will be a reference document on human rights around the world. It is a document of reference and the new one will continue to be something unique, one of its kind worldwide.’ Josep Borrell commented.